Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that causes pain under the heel due to inflammation of the plantar fascia, a strong band of tissue connecting the heel to the middle bones of the foot. This tissue supports the arch of the foot, and small injuries can cause inflammation and pain. In this blog post, we will explore the symptoms, risk factors, and treatment options for plantar fasciitis and heel pain.
Who is at Risk?
Plantar fasciitis is more common in people over the age of forty, athletes, and women. Factors that can contribute to the development of this condition include prolonged standing, walking or running after a period of inactivity, wearing shoes without proper support, sudden weight gain, obesity, and tightness of the Achilles tendon. In some cases, particularly with older individuals, there may be no apparent cause.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
The primary symptom of plantar fasciitis is pain on the underside of the heel, often concentrated in one specific spot about four centimetres from the heel. This area is usually tender to touch. Pain typically decreases when sitting but can intensify after the first few steps in the morning. Gentle exercise might help alleviate pain throughout the day, but prolonged walking can worsen it. Stretching the foot, such as going on tiptoes or climbing stairs, may cause sudden sharp pain.
Treating Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Pain
- Rest: Give your foot ample rest and avoid running, standing, or walking for long periods.
- Proper Footwear: Choose shoes with good arch support and cushioning in the heel. Avoid walking barefoot on hard surfaces. Consider using heel pads for extra support.
- Pain Management: Use painkillers like paracetamol for pain relief and ibuprofen for reducing inflammation. Anti-inflammatory creams can also be helpful.
- Medical Intervention: If pain persists, consider seeking medical help. A doctor may recommend steroid injections, splints, plaster casts, or, in rare cases, surgery.
Plantar fasciitis and heel pain can be debilitating, but with proper care and treatment, most cases resolve over time. By understanding the risk factors and symptoms, you can take appropriate steps to address this condition and ensure a swift recovery. If you need professional help or further information, contact Perfect Balance Clinic at 0800 0724 012 or complete the contact form below and one of our helpful team will reach out to you.
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